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Camel biography
The roots of CAMEL go as far as 1964, when the Latimer brothers Andrew and Bryan form part of a band called THE PHANTOM FOUR, after gaining some fame, the band changes their name to STRANGE BREW, a when the bass player Graham Cooper reaches the band. But things were about to change, Ian Latimer and Cooper leave the band and Doug Ferguson joins.

At this point drummer Andrew Ward joins the crew and the seeds were growing in this new Blues oriented band called simply THE BREW, and at last in 1971 with the arrival of keyboardist Peter Bardens CAMEL is officially born.

In their first period CAMEL releases four albums, the self titled debut, which was received with limited enthusiasm by the public, which lead to the change of label from MCA (Who didn't wanted to take risks) to Decca, with whom they stayed for 10 years.

Followed by "Mirage", Snow Goose" and "Moonmadness" (for many their essential trilogy), during the latest album tour, the saxophonist and flute player Mel Collins joins and leads CAMEL to a first radical change in the sound, as well as in the formation because Doug Ferguson is replaced by the Ex CARAVAN bass player Richard Sinclair.

With this formation CAMEL releases two albums, "Rain Dances and "Breathless", which marks for many the end of CAMEL'S golden era mainly because Pete Bardens leaves the band and the next release "I Can See Your House From Here" is considered inferior to the previous releases by the critic.

From this point the lineups constantly changes but the band still releases seven more albums received with different degrees of acceptance, until the last studio album "A Nod And a Wink" sees the light in 2002 (the same year Pete Bardens passes away) completing a large discography of 14 studio releases, 9 live albums, 7 DVD's and several box sets .

Maybe because their style is softer than most of the pioneer bands with atmospheric and light Space Rock overtones their fanbase is not as huge as the ones of the coetaneous and more aggressive bands such as GENESIS (Who in my opinion influenced CAMEL), YES or KING CRIMSON, but CAMEL is without doubt among the most respected groups, and the Latimer - Bardens duo is considered one of the most creative compositional teams.

If I had to choose one album from their prolific discography, my choice would be "Moonmadness" but others such as "Snow Goose" or "Mirage" are beloved by those who love good music.

An excellent band for people who l...
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Buy CAMEL Music

Camel- MirageCamel- Mirage
Import · Remastered
Universal I.S. 2002
Audio CD$3.24
$7.34 (used)
Import · Remastered
Audio CD$4.38
$3.14 (used)
The Snow GooseThe Snow Goose
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2002
Audio CD$4.05
$4.08 (used)
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2002
Audio CD$4.69
$7.33 (used)
Rain DancesRain Dances
Remastered · Extra tracks
Decca 2009
Audio CD$3.69
$5.38 (used)
Never Let GoNever Let Go
Camel Productions 1993
Audio CD$42.93
$23.94 (used)
Moonmadness [2 CD Deluxe Edition]Moonmadness [2 CD Deluxe Edition]
INgrooves Fontana/UMe Imports 2009
Audio CD$5.85
$17.49 (used)
Dust & DreamsDust & Dreams
Camel Productions 1992
Audio CD$12.02
$6.98 (used)
London Records
Audio CD$5.17
$3.09 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
VINYL LP Night Ranger - Midnight Madness / MCA Camel Columbia USD $12.99 Buy It Now
A Live Record Camel Vinyl Record USD $16.28 Buy It Now
Christmas Series When The Littlest Camel Knelt (Cathedral C-172R Red Vinyl) USD $5.00 Buy It Now
CAMEL Original VTG 1970`s Large Button Pin Badge (55mm-2.25") USD $8.16 Buy It Now
CAMEL ORIGINAL ADVERT 16 X 12" POSTER SIZE 7 Dec 1994 USD $16.33 Buy It Now
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Camel - Moonmadness (2002 UK Sealed CD w/Bonus) USD $6.99 Buy It Now
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Eric & The Serenaders Natasha / The Tipsy Camel Mod Jazz Nice KC 119 USD $29.99 Buy It Now
The Snow Goose [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster] by Camel (CD, Jun-2002, Universal/Um3) USD $7.99 Buy It Now
Camel Rain dances Germany cd USD $11.99 [0 bids]
Camel Rain Dances Vinyl LP + Inner Sleeve - EX USD $10.67 Buy It Now
Camel I Can See Your House From Here Vinyl LP + Inner Sleeve - EX USD $17.08 Buy It Now
HALF PAST FOUR - CD - Rabbit In The Vestibule - PROG ROCK, CAMEL, KING CRIMSON USD $4.65 [5 bids]
Camel The Snow Goose Vinyl LP - EX USD $16.01 Buy It Now
Camel Moonmadness Vinyl LP - Near Mint USD $21.36 Buy It Now
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C9-25 Camel Rain Dances Vinyl LP Record Janus JXS-7035 Sealed New USD $50.00 Buy It Now
DJ Shadow: Q-Bert Mix-Live!! Camel Bobsled Race CD Mo Wax 1997 Hip Hop USD $3.76 [0 bids]
Camel LP Same UK MCA Black & Blue 1st press SO HARD TO FIND ON THIS LABEL ****** USD $111.72 [7 bids]
Pressure Points-Live In Concert - Camel Compact Disc USD $25.22 Buy It Now
45 Picture Sleeve Only THE STOPWITH CAMEL Postcards From Jamaica KAMA SUTRA 224 USD $7.00 Buy It Now
Kansas Power Cassette Tape 1988 Steve Morse Progressive Hard Rock AOR Camel Asia USD $4.99 Buy It Now 15m 42s
KAYAK Close To The Fire Japan CD OBI '00 1st press bonus tracks Camel USD $11.50 [2 bids]
52m 22s
CAMEL THE SNOW GOOSE 8 TRACK TAPE 7882-1 BOX 13 USD $5.95 Buy It Now 1h 3m
CAMEL Moonmadness GP1035 OBI LP Ft3343 USD $5.50 [3 bids]
1h 37m
Sopwith Camel m- sleeve PS Postcard From Jamaica / Little Orphan Annie USD $11.99 Buy It Now 2h 30m
Steely Dan "Naked Lunch Board" 1CD OOP Rare 1974 Sopwith Camel Glendale USD $29.95 [0 bids]
USD $49.95 Buy It Now
3h 27m
FERLIN HUSKEY - Capitol 2746 - Eli, the Camel / Somebody Lied - '53 HILLBILLY DJ USD $6.65 Buy It Now 3h 58m
CAMEL - RAIN DANCES / Japan LP / OBI / 1982 / RECORD USD $16.99 Buy It Now 4h 41m
CAMEL - A LIVE RECORD / Japan Double LP / OBI / 1982 / L35P 1050/51 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 4h 41m
Camel - The Snow Goose / Japan LP / OBI / 1982 / L20P1044 USD $39.99 Buy It Now 4h 41m
Caravan (2 LP LOT) Blind Dog At St. Dunstans / Cunning Stunts VG /VG+ Camel USD $6.99 Buy It Now 6h 44m
Pilot Lp Lot (3) Self Titled Debut + Alan Parsons Turn Card + Camel Snow Goose USD $11.39 Buy It Now 6h 44m
Breathless [Camel] New CD USD $7.17 Buy It Now 11h 59m
Night Ranger - Dawn Patrol - CD 1982 MCA/Camel records, USA USD $5.02 [1 bids]
12h 24m
CAMEL The Snow Goose LP 1975 Decca SKL-R 5207 + Insert EX/EX USD $6.22 [0 bids]
14h 38m
Camel " Breathless " Rare Early Decca Record Label UK Pressing USD $10.06 [0 bids]
14h 58m
Peter Frampton Frampton's Camel - CD Compact Disc USD $26.27 Buy It Now 15h 42m
Camel-Stationary Traveller CD NEW USD $18.62 Buy It Now 15h 48m
Camel - Snow Goose [CD New] USD $7.63 Buy It Now 16h
The Snow Goose [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster] by Camel (CD, Jun-2002, Universal/Um3) USD $5.85 Buy It Now 16h 4m
The Snow Goose [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster] by Camel (CD, Jun-2002, Universal/Um3) USD $17.28 Buy It Now 16h 7m
CAMEL The Single Factor CD Germany 11 tracks Deram 800 081-2 USD $7.99 [0 bids]
16h 43m
CAMEL Moonmadness 1976/2001 JAPAN MINI-LP CD w/OBI UICY-9046 PROG Peter Bardens USD $18.98 Buy It Now 16h 46m
PETE BARDENS Speed Of Light 1988 JAPAN 1ST CD CP32-5683 OOP CAMEL ELO II Peter USD $15.18 Buy It Now 16h 47m
Snow Goose - Camel (CD Used Very Good) USD $5.63 Buy It Now 17h 11m
Terry Riley(Demo Vinyl LP)Shri Camel-Columbia-M 35164-US-1980-Ex+/NM- USD $43.98 Buy It Now 17h 13m
Pete Bardens Speed Of Light CD Camel Mick Fleetwood USD $6.99 Buy It Now 17h 20m
CAMEL - CAMEL - 1973 - MCA VINYL A1/B1 USD $8.79 [0 bids]
17h 20m
17h 21m
17h 21m
Camel - Single Factor (NEW CD) USD $14.13 Buy It Now 17h 39m
Ape Skull - Fly Camel Fly (NEW 12" VINYL LP) USD $29.66 Buy It Now 17h 40m
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18h 2m
Camel Anthology 1973-1985 4CD BOX NEW USD $59.85 Buy It Now 19h 8m
I Can See Your House from Here - Camel SHM-CD USD $27.22 Buy It Now 19h 32m
Moonmadness - Camel SHM-CD USD $30.83 Buy It Now 19h 32m
Mirage - Camel SHM-CD USD $30.83 Buy It Now 19h 32m
Camel - Camel SHM-CD USD $26.36 Buy It Now 19h 32m
Rock 45 Camel - Lonely Hunter / Stacy On Mca Records USD $5.00 Buy It Now 19h 33m
Camel - Japan Mini LP 2 CD - A Live Record 1978 Prog w Obi & Inserts USD $30.00 Buy It Now 19h 55m
Camel-Rainbow's End (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $29.91 Buy It Now 20h 8m
CAMEL - ON THE ROAD 1974 - NEW - DOUBLE LP RECORD USD $32.67 Buy It Now 21h
21h 4m
Camel - Lunar Sea (An Anthology 1973-85) (2001) CD X 2 - Prog Rock USD $12.56 Buy It Now 21h 4m
The Single Factor by Camel (CD, Sep-2009, Esoteric Recordings) USD $10.88 Buy It Now 21h 6m
Camel - Stationary Traveller NEW CD USD $6.32 Buy It Now 21h 7m
Camel - Breathless NEW CD USD $4.51 Buy It Now 21h 7m
Camel - Single Factor [CD New] USD $13.17 Buy It Now 21h 9m
Camel - The Snow Goose Deluxe Edition NEW 2 x CD USD $14.40 Buy It Now 21h 14m
Camel : Stationary Traveller CD (1984) new and sealed USD $6.27 [0 bids]
21h 29m
CAMEL Rain Dances JANUS Records JXS-7035 Vinyl 33rpm LP 1977 Peter Bardens NICE USD $7.95 Buy It Now 21h 39m
Single Factor - Camel (2009, CD New) USD $11.39 Buy It Now 21h 53m
PETER FRAMPTON'S CAMEL**Very rare 1973 U.S.A. LP with unused poster!!** USD $37.70 Buy It Now 22h
22h 27m
1977 - Camel - Rain Dances - Janus Records - Plays VG+ USD $4.99 Buy It Now 22h 27m
Pressure Points: Live in Concert by Camel (CD, Oct-2009, 2 Discs, Esoteric... USD $12.26 Buy It Now 22h 34m
CAMEL THE SNOW GOOSE...Original UK Decca Laminated Sleeve With Insert..Ex+ Prog USD $6.27 [0 bids]
22h 48m

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CAMEL discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

CAMEL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 1103 ratings
4.39 | 2238 ratings
4.28 | 1952 ratings
The Snow Goose
4.38 | 1923 ratings
3.59 | 803 ratings
Rain Dances
3.13 | 658 ratings
2.84 | 570 ratings
I Can See Your House From Here
3.60 | 636 ratings
2.59 | 414 ratings
The Single Factor
3.39 | 588 ratings
Stationary Traveller
3.66 | 439 ratings
Dust And Dreams
3.74 | 516 ratings
Harbour Of Tears
4.04 | 729 ratings
3.95 | 599 ratings
A Nod And A Wink
4.21 | 462 ratings
The Snow Goose (Re-recording)

CAMEL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.31 | 356 ratings
A Live Record
3.30 | 144 ratings
Pressure Points
3.65 | 103 ratings
Camel On The Road 1972
4.45 | 142 ratings
Never Let Go
2.38 | 61 ratings
Camel On The Road 1982
3.31 | 57 ratings
Camel On The Road 1981
4.27 | 121 ratings
Coming Of Age
3.84 | 59 ratings
Camel 73 - 75 Gods of Light
3.56 | 68 ratings
The Paris Collection

CAMEL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.51 | 39 ratings
Pressure Points - Live in Concert
4.52 | 102 ratings
Coming Of Age (DVD)
2.92 | 25 ratings
Curriculum Vitae
3.92 | 39 ratings
3.84 | 30 ratings
Footage II
4.03 | 38 ratings
Total Pressure (DVD)
4.01 | 50 ratings
4.37 | 71 ratings
The Opening Farewell - Live At The Catalyst (DVD)
4.13 | 27 ratings
In From The Cold

CAMEL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.59 | 11 ratings
Chameleon (Best Of Camel)
3.28 | 17 ratings
The Collection
3.74 | 29 ratings
A Compact Compilation
2.42 | 8 ratings
3.46 | 51 ratings
2.11 | 9 ratings
Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)
4.10 | 32 ratings
Lunar Sea - An Anthology 1973-1985
4.13 | 33 ratings
Rainbow's End - A Camel Anthology 1973 - 1985

CAMEL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.54 | 26 ratings
Never Let Go
4.57 | 7 ratings
The Snow Goose
3.83 | 6 ratings
Flight Of The Snow Goose
4.46 | 24 ratings
Another Night
3.41 | 15 ratings
Highways of the Sun
3.50 | 4 ratings
3.00 | 3 ratings
Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine
4.00 | 1 ratings
Some Exerpts From The New Camel Album
2.50 | 2 ratings
Remote Romance
2.50 | 2 ratings
Remote Romance (German Version)
5.00 | 1 ratings
Camel In Concert No.250
3.33 | 3 ratings
2.67 | 3 ratings
No Easy Answer
3.00 | 3 ratings
2.50 | 2 ratings
Cloak And Dagger Man
3.04 | 4 ratings
Long Goodbyes
2.50 | 2 ratings
Berlin Occidental (West Berlin)
2.50 | 2 ratings
Lies (Promo Single)
3.75 | 4 ratings
4.84 | 19 ratings
Never Let Go

CAMEL Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mirage by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.39 | 2238 ratings

Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgMirage1974

4 stars REVIEW #1 - "Mirage" by Camel (1974)

Following their eponymous debut, Camel was showing growing pains of any new band. The potential was there, but there was a lack of direction and the group was still trying to develop its own unique sound. Their second effort, "Mirage", with its cover resembling a pack of Camel cigarettes, is a well-done expansion on their existing platform. What originally would have been average length songs are now extended, thanks to an emphasis on instrumental solos - most notably the guitar of Andrew Latimer and the keyboards of Peter Bardens. The atmosphere of this album is also superior to the first, as the band seems to capture the spacey feeling of the desert quite well with a touch of jazz influence, contributing to the beauty of the album in general.

The opener "Freefall" (3/5) gets this album off to a running start. With frequent tempo changes and a new, upbeat tempo, it establishes the tone of the album pretty well, but that's about it. We get an idea from this song of how the rest of the album is going to be, and already we can see a new and improved band, rooted deeply in prog. What follows is an instrumental piece titled "Supertwister" (4/5), which notably features Andrew Latimer on the flute - adding an ethereal aspect to the music, and it hits very well as being an intercalary to the next, certainly epic track, "Nimrodel" (5/5). Closing out side one, "Nimrodel" would ultimately come to be known as one of the band's most classic songs. Based on Gandalf from J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings", this song uses a variety of sounds, ranging from the prevalent bass of Doug Ferguson to added woodwinds and bells to create an atmosphere relatable to that of the subject matter. Split into three parts, and with seldom lyrics, it is simply put a masterpiece. With differentiation in tempo, as well as a great guitar outro, it is a fitting end to side one.

Side two is opened by the instrumental track "Earthrise" (4/5), which is a showcase of the band's musical virtuosity and a continuation on the atmosphere created on the first side. With passages of blazing guitars and spacey keyboards, complemented by Andy Ward's drumming, this song is solid but requires multiple listens to truly appreciate the intricacy of the song. Finally, the album is closed out with another epic titled "Lady Fantasy" (5/5) - another one of the band's seminal works. With multiple tempo changes, solos, and lots of riffs. The lyrics here are the best of the album, contributing very well to the song, and the track does not fail to bore the listener. This song is quite arguably the quintessential song of the album, and the defining work of Camel as a whole. A classic of prog rock, it is a mandatory listen for any prog fan.

This album was a moderate success for the band, which has been an underrated band of the genre in general. It prompted a tour of the American west coast, and would eventually lead up to the band's following, most successful album. "Mirage" is considered by many to be the best Camel album, and I certainly agree. With its invigorating sound and its instrumental nature, it deserves more recognition than it has at the moment. Even more importantly, this album serves as Camel's breakthrough, and saved the band from complete irrelevancy. I certainly recommend this album to anyone interested in prog, or even more harder rock. It balances both slow and fast tempos very well, and the tone of the guitar is outstanding.

OVERALL: 4.2/5 (B)

 Harbour Of Tears by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.74 | 516 ratings

Harbour Of Tears
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nº 87

"Harbour Of Tears" is the twelfth studio album of Camel and was released in 1996. It was released only five years later of their previous studio album "Dust And Dreams" and three years later of the release of their fourth and double live album "Never Let Go". It was recorded in Holland and was taken from the world tour of 1992 called "Comeback". It was the first independent Camel's release, after Latimer's move to USA and get Camel back on his own hands. Again, it's a marvel that the band continues to invest so much skill and vision into their music at this late juncture in their journey.

The line up of the album is Andrew Latimer (vocals, guitar, flute and keyboards), Mickey Simmonds (keyboards), Colin Bass (backing vocals and bass) and John Xepoleas (drums). The album has also the participation of other additional musicians: David Paton (vocals and bass), Mae McKenna (vocals), Neil Panton (oboe and soprano saxophone), Barry Phillips (cello), John Burton (French horn), Karen Bentley (violin) and Anita Stoneham (violin).

"Harbour Of Tears" is another conceptual album. This time it tells us the story of an Irish family who is painfully separated of their young ones who departed to the United States to seek a better future. In the period of 1845-1850 Ireland was not only to current European standards, poor, but also in absolute terms. Latimer learned that the last sight of Ireland that his grandmother's family would have seen was Cóbh Harbour. As he explains on the back cover of the album, Cóbh Harbour is a beautiful deep water port in County Cork, Ireland. It was the last sight of Ireland for hundreds upon thousands of fractured Irish families who saw their sons and daughters departed for fates unknown towards the distant America. Those families called it the Harbour Of Tears and thus the album itself was also titled as the common alias name of the port, "Harbour Of Tears". This is really a very emotional album.

Musically, "Harbour Of Tears" pretty much follows the "Dust And Dreams" format. Latimer is a romantic guy and the music is pretty much on par with what it was made on "Dust And Dreams", a bunch of instrumental tracks and a bunch of vocal tracks. However, there is for sure more variety on "Harbour Of Tears", than on the 1991 album, I think. As expected, with the subject that is, and as on "Dust And Dreams", the majority of the "Harbour Of Tears" has a quite gloomy and melancholy tone. The mix of Celtic influences in progressive rock music is a phenomenon that the head pops up here and there, and, understandably also intervenes Latimer for this record and to that plea. A whole army of guest musicians, including the necessary string musicians may further enhance the musical revelry. All this, certainly includes some great very enjoyable moments all over the album. On "Harbour Of Tears" some of the tracks are short and others big. The music flows in a familiar fashion from start to finish, only adding drums and vocals when the energy picks up. The music is very often interspersed by folk elements, which are accentuated by the use of typical instruments. Despite the mood of the album it's continuously melancholic, especially through the numerous soft keyboard pads, it never comes to be bored or even lard. The songs, of which about half of them are instrumental, usually go seamlessly one into another. The whole work is a perfect unit. The vocal numbers are too much like the mid-8''s Camel. The only exception is the closing instrumental suite, the last track "The Hour Candle (A Song For My Father)", which has 23:00 minutes long and makes that this disc worth owning for all progressive fans of Camel. After that, it's almost 20 minutes of gentle waves, literally, in honour of Latimer's late father.

Conclusion: After some less good albums in the 80's and also after several years of retirement of the musical scene, Camel returned with four magnificent studio albums, of which "Harbour Of Tears" is the second of them. As I wrote before, these four albums mark the return of the band to their symphonic progressive routes and represent also the return of them to their high and solid quality musical work. In my humble opinion, "Harbour Of Tears" is a very special album in their discography. It's a very Irish album, very intimate, sensitive, tragic, sad, melancholic and nostalgic, but it's at the same time very beautiful. Its music gives to the listener the sadness and the tragic feelings of the Irish families who saw their sons and daughters departed for unknown lands, towards the distant America. Personally, nowadays when I hear Camel's music, I'm always with melancholic and nostalgic feelings that in some way carry me to the distant past, the past of my youth. Camel is the only band from the 70's in which their music brings me such feelings. "Harbour Of Tears" is probably the album that brings me more strongly, those feelings. However, I think beyond my personal feelings, I can consider it a great album. It's an album with beautiful and nostalgic music, good lyrics and very well arranged which makes of it an excellent progressive musical work. This is Camel in a great shape.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Dust And Dreams by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.66 | 439 ratings

Dust And Dreams
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nº 86

"Dust And Dreams" is the eleventh studio album of Camel and was released in 1991. After the release of their second live album "Pressure Points" in the late of 1984, the band disappeared from the media without ads. For a few years Andrew Latimer was fighting with lawyers to get some due royalties and to resolve the problems with their former manager. Both, Latimer and Decca, amicably agreed to put an end to their contract, which was made on April 10th, 1985. After the end of the contract with Decca, Latimer wasn't interested in other record labels. To avoid more waste of time and energy, Latimer and his wife Susan Hoover decided to sell his London's house and moved from England to California. So, Camel was able to create their own record label, which was called Camel Productions. He used the money from the sales of his house to build a small studio where "Dust And Dreams" was recorded and produced.

The line up of the album is Andrew Latimer (vocals, guitar, flute and keyboards), Ton Scherpenzeel (keyboards), Colin Bass (bass) and Paul Burgess (drums). The album has also the participation of some other musicians: David Paton (vocals), Mae McKenna (vocals), Don Harriss (keyboards), Christopher Bock (drums), Neil Panton (oboe), John Burton (French horn) and Kim Venaas (harmonica and timpani).

So, after seven years of a hiatus of time, Latimer revived Camel and recorded this conceptual album "Dust And Dreams", an evocation of "The Grapes Of Wrath", the great literary oeuvre of the famous American writer John Steinbeck. For those who aren't familiarized with the book, it's important to write few lines about it. "The Grapes Of Wrath" is a novel which was published in 1939 and was awarded with the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 and the Nobel Prize in 1962. The oeuvre was also immortalized by the beautiful movie, with the same name, directed by John Ford in 1940 and starring the great American actor Henry Fonda. This American classic comes to the effects of the Great Depression of small family farms of the American West. It tells us the story of a poor family in the state of Oklahoma, who during the Great Depression of 1929 was forced to abandon the lands occupied by them for decades, on a sharecropper regime, due to the arrival of the progress and including the purchase of tractors and machinery for the owners of those lands, and the born of a new property regime of lands. This factor has made obsolete the manual labour of plowing and planting the land and forced them to head toward the false Eden, called California, in search of a better way of life.

"Dust And Dreams" is another very emotional album with excellent compositions and nice melodies. With this album, we are brought back to the early Camel's sound and to their great quality musical level. As happened with "Nude", "Dust And Dreams" initially divides its time between songs and instrumentals before ceding halfway, through purely instrumental music. The music is largely kept very quiet, and there are only four vocal tracks. As a conceptual album, the eighteen tracks are all interconnected as if it's only a single theme. "Dust And Dreams" can most likely be regarded as a mixture of elements of two previous Camel's albums, "The Snow Goose" and "Nude". Not in the sense that the old ideas are new warmed up, but the stylistic elements are somehow similar. Most on the album are keyboards in the foreground, not bombastic, but always attentive and appropriate to the original novel, mostly of the melancholy kind. There are many beautiful songs here, all of them with instrumental pieces in between. In fact, the album finishes with several fine instrumental sequences. Again Latimer, as a producer, a composer, a guitarist, a keyboardist and a singer, did a fine job. His guitar playing always brings joy to the listener, sometimes invoking the goose bumps and others a big smile on our face. It's a very beautiful album with music for our sense, soul and heart. This is really a fine working.

Conclusion: "Dust And Dreams" represents an amazing and surprising return of Camel to their most progressive routes, after a long period of silence and less good albums. Camel has their best and most symphonic musical period in the 70's, with their four first studio albums, "Camel", "Mirage", "The Snow Goose" and "Moonmadness", which correspond to their golden era. These four albums are absolutely fantastic. After that, they released some good albums, some of them are really very good, such as, "Rain Dances" and "Nude", or even "Breathless" and "Stationary Traveller" are also very good. But they also released two weak albums, "I Can See Your House From Here" and especially "The Single" Factor". So, it's with great pleasure that we can see, finally, another great album of Camel. So, somehow we can say that "Dust And Dreams" is the beginning of a new era in Camel's music. It's without any doubt one of their best musical works and represents also the start of a new golden musical era to the group. It looks to me that it represents a different version of Camel, perhaps a more modern version. Camel will be always a great band.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 A Live Record by CAMEL album cover Live, 1978
4.31 | 356 ratings

A Live Record
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by AlanB

4 stars I bought this on vinyl soon after it was released. The track listing was as listed above for the first CD version. More recently I purchased the album on CD, but it was the expanded edition with extra tracks.

First of all, this album shows the classic line up of Camel at its best, and the sound is enhanced by the addition of Mel Collins on saxophone. Collins makes a difference in particular to the songs Never let Go and Song Within A Song. The tracks are chosen from the albums Camel, Mirage, Moonmadness and Rain Dances, plus there is a full recording of The Snow Goose complete with orchestra. There is also a track Ligging At Louis, which did not appear on any studio album. I have never really appreciated post Peter Bardens Camel, so the selection of songs here is perfect for me.

My one qualm about the CD version that I have is that I would have preferred the tracks on CD1 to have followed the same order as on the original vinyl, with the unreleased songs at the end. I was so used to hearing the album open with Never Let Go that having four tracks from Rain Dances at the start sounds wrong. This wouldn't be a problem for anyone who hadn't owned the original album on vinyl, so maybe I'm being picky, but it doesn't sound right to me.

Top tracks for me: Never Let Go, Lady Fantasy, Song Within A Song, Lunar Sea, and the complete Snow Goose.

 Breathless by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.13 | 658 ratings

Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

3 stars Review Nº 78

Camel is, in my humble opinion and unfortunately, an underrated band in the progressive rock world, probably due to the simplicity of their music. For Camel, create music is a very simple thing. A bunch of guys, with guitar, keyboards, bass and drums, are capable to create clear and simple melodies with changes of rhythm and variations, all over the songs, with great creativity and improvisation. This is all very simple, nothing hidden, everything is visible and with no tricks. The result is music with very high quality, simplicity and beauty. However, that never changed the fact that Camel always was regarded as one of the most creative and respected bands in the progressive rock music.

So, no wonder that Camel's music continues influencing many other musicians, even in our days. The Opeth's front man Mikael Akerfeldt, has stated many times that Camel is one of the major influences in his music. For instance, the song "Benighted" from Opeth's fourth studio album "Still Life" released in 1999, has some resemblance to Camel's song "Never Let Go" and the song "Ending Credits" from Opeth's seventh studio album "Damnation" released in 2003, has also extraordinary similarities with the usual sound of Camel. "Endings Credits" represents his homage to Camel.

"Breathless" is the sixth studio album of Camel and was released in 1978. It's the last album from the group that features the band's original keyboardist Peter Bardens, who unfortunately left the band before the tour of the album. It ended with one of the best duos of progressive rock composers ever. It seems that Andrew Latimer and Bardens conflicted frequently during the recording of their previous fifth studio album "Rain Dances" released in 1977. Those tensions would come to an end during the making of "Breathless". Once it was completed, Bardens quit the group.

"Breathless" has nine tracks. The first track is the title track "Breathless". It was written by Latimer, Bardens and Andy Ward and represents one of the most beautiful and melodic songs, with a touch of pop, that I've ever listen to from a progressive band. This is an excellent example how a progressive group can make a really good pop song. The second track "Echoes" also written by Latimer, Bardens and Ward is a typical Camel's song and represents one of the most progressive songs on the album. It's a song with great Latimer's guitar working. It's certainly the best track on the album. This is Camel at their best. The third track "Wing And A Prayer" written by Latimer and Bardens is another song with a touch of pop and it has some similarities with the opener track "Breathless". However, for me, it's a less good song despite have a very good and interesting Mel Collins' saxophone working. The fourth track "Down On The Farm" written by Richard Sinclair is a humorous song, but it doesn't sounds as a Camel's song. Sincerely, it sounds more like a Caravan's song, which is very natural given his previous connection with that group. Bardens didn't like the song and he doesn't play it. It seems that he was right, because despite being not a bad song, it has nothing to do with Camel's sound. It should never be recorded by Camel. The fifth track "Starlight Ride" written by Latimer and Bardens is a song that sounds very different and it has a sort of a melancholic style. It's a pretty short track, but sincerely, the final result is a forgettable song. The sixth track "Summer Lightning" written by Latimer and Sinclair is another track with a touch of pop music with a repetitive dancing rhythm. It has some good Latimer's guitar solos which make of it an interesting track. The seventh track "You Make Me Smile" written by Latimer and Bardens is one of the more popish songs of the album and it has also a repetitive dancing rhythm. This is probably the weakest and the most disappointing song on the album. It doesn't make me smile at all. The eighth track "The Sleeper" written by Latimer, Bardens, Ward and Collins is an instrumental song and is the other progressive track of the album. Despite it sounds to a Camel's song with a slightly jazzy touch, it isn't as good as "Echoes" is. The ninth track "Rainbow's End" written by Latimer and Bardens ends the album nicely. It's a short song very calm and melancholic with beautiful chorus and good musical arrangements. In the end, "Rainbow's End", closes the album with a certain beautiful musical style.

Conclusion: "Breathless" is, without any kind of doubt, the weakest Camel's album released by this magnificent duo of musicians and composers Latimer and Bardens unfortunately. However, in my humble opinion, "Breathless" is far way from being a bad album. It has some good songs and it has also some others, which are interesting. I recommend strongly "Echoes" and "The Sleeper", which are definitely the two best and most progressive tracks on the album. But unfortunately, it has also "You Make Me Smile" with its dreadful disco sound, which is definitely the lower point of the album. So, the highlights are so few that can't make of it a great album. But unfortunately, "Breathless" represents also the Bardens' farewell to the band, the band that he left, but where he will be connected forever. And as a consequence of his departure, Camel could never be the same again, despite the excellence of their sound of the 90's.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Rain Dances by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.59 | 803 ratings

Rain Dances
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nº 77

In my humble opinion, after Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd the three best progressive groups of the 70's, Camel, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Van Der Graaf Generator and Rush are in the next position as some of the best and most influential bands of the 70's, and undoubtedly, all of them also belong to the very strictly group of the some of the greatest progressive bands ever.

Camel is a band who always took a very own path and they never were inferior to the most of the other greatest bands. They are respected and appreciated and they also continue influencing many other bands with different styles of music, even today. For instance, Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth often mentions that he has suffered many influences from bands like Camel. Camel is a band that needs to be discovered, especially the albums of their classic period.

"Rain Dances" is the fifth studio album of Camel and was released in 1977. This is the album that marks the first changes into the line up of the band, ending with their classic line up and also with their classic musical era. After the stability of their first four studio albums, their bassist and founder member Doug Fergusson, quit the band soon after the release of their previous fourth studio album "Moonmadness" released in 1976. His replacement was made by Richard Sinclair an ex-Caravan's member. To complete the transformation of the usual line up, the group had the addition of other musician, the saxophonist Mel Collins an ex-King Crimson's member. This transformation in the line up of the band brought a certain change on Camel's sound, making it more experimental, relaxing and much closer to the jazz style. The album has also some participation of Brian Eno, the ex-Roxy Music's member, on the keyboards.

"Rain Dances" has nine tracks. The first track "First Light" written by Peter Bardens and Andrew Latimer is an inspired and fantastic instrumental piece of music that represents a great opening to the album. It's also the first time that we can listen to a sax on a Camel's album, and I would say, what a great job was made by Collins all over the album. The second track "Metrognome" written by Bardens and Latimer is another fantastic song with a very calm and beautiful beginning and which becomes progressively more complex and experimental, with some jazz influences. The third track "Tell Me" written by Bardens and Latimer is a very calm, delicate and beautiful ballad with a fine Latimer's flute working. This is a song that makes us dreaming. The fourth track "Highways Of The Sun" written by Bardens and Latimer was the song chosen to be released as a single. It's a song with a more commercial mood and with some pop characteristics, but with a final touch of Camel's sound. It's a good example how to make a good pop song by a progressive band. The fifth track "Unevensong" written by Bardens, Latimer and Andy Ward is a song with great musical variations. It's really a pretty good and brilliant song. This is a song with a lot of breaks and tempo changes and has also great Latimer's guitar solos. The sixth track "One Of These Days I'll Get An Early Night" written by Bardens, Latimer, Ward, Sinclair and Collins is the more experimental track on the album, and it has also good individual performances by all musicians. It's clearly a piece of music with great jazz influence. The seventh track "Elke" written by Latimer is practically a Latimer's solo piece of music, featuring the usual excellent electronic experimentation by Eno. It's a very nice, peaceful and atmospheric instrumental song. The eighth track "Skylines" written by Bardens, Latimer and Ward is another instrumental song with great jazz influences. It's also a good musical number very well performed by all members of the group. The ninth track is the title track "Rain Dances". It was written by Bardens and Latimer and is a reprise of the opener track. It's the smallest song on the album and is a very good instrumental track, almost very classic. It represents a natural and a great ending to this excellent musical working.

Conclusion: First of all, in addition to the changes into their line up, "Rain Dances" is an album released in the punk era. A time where to be a progressive group was the same of being an old dinosaur. A time where many record labels and critics had completely turned their backs to the progressive rock. So, it was in that context that was born this Camel's album. Anyway and despite these changes, "Rain Dances" is really a great album. It's very consistent, but unfortunately, isn't a masterpiece. However, I'm not one of those who consider this album as a weak point in Camel's discography. This is a very well balanced piece of music with great moments, and the musical change of their sound is very enjoyable and flows gracefully from the beginning to the end. In my humble opinion, in the progressive rock, the groups can change and evolve their music. I also think that the presence of some new band's members in a group is also a very good thing, especially if they are great musicians and experienced artists. They can bring something new.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Camel by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.95 | 1103 ratings

Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A little jazzy and proggy hard rock animal

Not often cited by fans, CAMEL's self-titled debut album offers an energetic jazzy rock, supported by Peter Bardens' colorful keyboards and Andy Latimer's inspired guitar play. As always, the sung parts remain rather discrete and the musician already focus on their strong points: the instrumental passages. Not as progressive as their next albums, the music is nonetheless quite lively and promising. As many other bands in the 70's, the compositions were tested and refined at concerts before being released in studio version.

The opener "Slow Yourself Down" is a catchy punchy jazz-rock in the style of SANTANA, including various cool soli. In contrast, "Mystic Queen" is my least favorite track of the record. It has pretty and melancholic moments I find it overall a bit boring and lengthy. Back to jazz-rock with the instrumental "Six Ate". Driven by keyboards, it features a few cool rhythm changes. Surprising, the galloping heroic "Separation" is hard rock oriented, sometimes even sounding like early 70's metal! Great!

More melodic, "Never Let Go" announces the style that CAMEL will develop in their next album, "Mirage". A melancholic tune, with jazzy and enchanting variations, supported by Peter Bardens' mellotron. "Curiosity" is an evolving but a little uneven song, enjoyable though. The closer "Arubaluba" is the other instrumental track of the disc. Dynamic and powerful, it simply rocks!

CAMEL's self-titled debut album has lots to offer and already unveils the band's potential, especially for composition and instrumental parts. Unfortunately, the musicians won't earn the success they deserve with this release, maybe due the lack of originality of their music at the time and of a charismatic frontman. Nonetheless, it still remains a lively and inspired opus, as well as a good entry point to the band for hard rockers.

CAMEL's rockiest effort, and one of their best albums. A promising and talented animal, recommended to jazzy rock and SANTANA fans!

 The Snow Goose by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.28 | 1952 ratings

The Snow Goose
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by ArtuomNechuev

5 stars Though one can't be completely objective and impartial in a review, I can claim that it goes without saying - The Snow Goose IS a masterpiece. As I wasn't prepared enough to listen to fully vocalless album, I preferred to enjoy Camel, Mirage and Moonmadness first. However my apprehensions were disspelled during the first take: all the tracks sounded really great and incited me. The Snow Goose represents a bunch of quite remarkable and pleasant though not very difficult melodies. Each composition slightly go on to another one and doesn't lose the central spirit and idea of the story. Some melodies on latter compositions are deliberately made reminiscent of melodies on the former, namely: Rhayder and Rhayder Alone, Preparation and Epitaph, Fritha and Fritha Alone, The Snow Goose and Princess Perdue. This interesting trick helps to create the feel and spirit of integrity of the whole album which makes it indivisible for the emotional perception. Besides, it helps to develop and understand character and feelings of the characters (Philip Rhayder is so alone, that we even can feel his sadness). Some passages are so emotional and emphatic, that I even can't help but shed a couple of tears. The very plot and idea of this touching and very sad story, written by Paul Gallico and being tightly tied with the music, direct it in listener's heart flawlessly and draws colourful images in his mind. Also, the use of some orchestra pieces creates a nice and atmospheric interlacing. Moreover, it's obvious, that technical skills of each member increased significantly on this release. Andy Ward delivers creative and energetic drumming inserting some syncopation, double strokes and other nice tricks. Doug Fergusson performs decently and complete the image in a rather sensitive and sensible way. Concerning the main songwriters Peter Bardens (keys) and Andrew Latimer (guitar and flute) there can be made up praising hymns, but won't go beyond a couple of sentences. Bardens' and Latimer's performance as usual is highly creative, sophisticated and emotional without being overtly pompous and showing off. Their compositional skills are beyond discussion. I wonder how Andrew Latimer manages to create and perform such pleasant, catchy, sincere and versatile melodies and constructions without too difficult and tangled. It's all about emotional and dynamical playing of course with the use of slide and vibratto bar . In addition his wizardry with flute creates flying mellow melodies, which fit every place they are. Speaking about Peter Bardens I can say without bias, that this time the arsenal of his instruments is broadened, which allows to make compositions more diverse and intricate. His playing is also able to break the most thick ice of anyone's soul or incite a hardened melancholic. In the end I will say, that The Snow Goose is on of the greatest and moving concept albums of all time filled with the music of high quality. And it's the best instrumental piece in my opinion.
 The Snow Goose by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.28 | 1952 ratings

The Snow Goose
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Camel goes classical and instrumental

3.5 stars

After their second (majestic) studio opus, CAMEL understood that the sung parts and lyrics weren't their strongest points, existing only sporadically to make songs. The musicians were more at ease during the instrumental parts. Furthermore, the band was lacking a genuine charismatic frontman. For these reasons, they decided to compose a fully instrumental record, based on Paul Gallico's story "The Snow Goose". However, the author brought a lawsuit against them, due to copyright infringement, and CAMEL therefore renamed their new album "Music inspired by The Snow Goose".

Thought as a single 43 minutes piece, this third opus was recorded with The London Symphony Orchestra. The instrumentation and orchestration are much more ambitious than before: guitars, keyboards, percussions, wind instruments, violin... Peter Bardens' synthesizers become more and more present, although they sometimes quite strange. It also incorporates a few female vocalizations. Musically speaking, the disc is more melodic than the band's previous efforts, but, in return, offers less room to develop long guitar or keyboard soli, as the tracks have a short or normal duration. Less jazz / rock than before, "Music inspired by The Snow Goose" is more about merging symphonic rock with classical music.

The first half of the album is charming. After the mysterious and calm introduction "The Great Marsh", begins "Rhayader". Dominated by the flute, this tune is lively, catchy, and even a little jazzy. The best passage of the record is nonetheless the enchanting "Rhayader Goes To Town". Alternating soft and heroic moments with floydian guitar interventions, this track rocks! Then come the sweet and melancholic "Sanctuary", the delicate and pretty "Fritha", whereas the title track is simply beautiful and touching. Driven by wind instruments such as clarinet, oboe, bassoon and flute, "Friendship" is pretty much is in the style of SERGEI PROKOFIEV's "Peter and the Wolf". The dynamic "Migration" includes wordless vocals.

The second half is unfortunately a bit more uneven. Although "Rhayader Alone" is quite convincing with its guitar and Fender Rhodes piano, "Flight Of The Snow Goose" contrasts by incorporating an electronic sequence. Average, and a little out of place. The threatening "Preparation" sounds futuristic but also bizarre, I think it could should have been shortened. The first part "Dunkirk" is too repetitive and lengthy. Thankfully, the second part is more epic and nervous. "Epitaph" reuses the theme from "Preparation", whereas the piano dominated "Fritha Alone" is more interesting, displaying a slight ethereal atmosphere. "La Princesse Perdue" uses a few cheesy synthesizers but however some nice moments too. Curiously, the short closer "The Great Marsh" concludes the disc on an haunting note.

"Music inspired by The Snow Goose" is the release CAMEL is the best known for, due to its instrumental approach and the successful concert at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra in 1975. It contains some flaws and weaker passages though, such as the dated keyboards sounds, but remains one of the few fully instrumental good studio albums of the 70's - except the electronic ones. More electronic and less jazzy, the desert animal is still inspired, his music is enchanting and will transport you to a land of fantasy.

Unique in the band's career, the musicians won't renew this stylistic exercise in the future. The first half of the seventies was maybe the only time period such a lyric-less record could earn success in the rock sphere. Anyway, one of CAMEL's best albums, recommended to symphonic prog fans!

 Mirage by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.39 | 2238 ratings

Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars An hallucination? No, a real symphonic prog oasis!

4.5 stars

Second studio album by CAMEL, "Mirage" truly marks the band's entrance into the progressive sphere. Compared to their debut, the compositions are a bit longer and more complex. If the musical style - mainly instrumental symphonic SANTANA-esque hard rock - hasn't changed much, the music is now more melodic and sometimes slow down to offer softer and breathtaking moments. Furthermore, the Minimoog made its first appearance and will become more and more present in the next records. Finally, the sound quality has also improved.

One word on the cover art: as you probably see, it parodies the Camel cigarettes pack, which initially helped the band to become famous. However, it also made then bad publicity, as people thought the musicians were advertising for the well-known smoking brand. Let's now begin our journey.

"Freefall" is a punchy and catchy opener, in the slight jazzy hard rock style of the first opus. In contrast, despite to what its title may suggest, "Supertwister" is delicate and enchanting. A nice invitation to travel to a mysterious land. In addition, Andrew Latimer's flute playing is pretty good. Then comes the best track of the disc, the Lords of the Ring-inspired "Nimrodel / The Procession / White Rider" suite. After a short aquatic overture, you know with the fanfare horns you're in for something special. The next part opens with an aerial majestic music, a genuine little melodic gem! Then, the song alternates alternates violent, calm and even spacey passages with numerous pace changes and various instruments. The haunting ending is also beautiful. Magic!

I do not really enjoy the beginning of the instrumental "Earthrise", but the rest is overall quite good. Despite dated synthesizer sonorities, it contains great soft and fast epic rock moments. The closer "Lady Fantasy" may well be CAMEL's longest composition to date. The track can remind THE DOORS at times, mainly due to the organ interventions. Both gentle and rageous, rock and jazzy, calm and touching, it displays the band's talent and is one of their best mini-epic. The dark ending simply rocks!

Although this album is classified under the "symphonic progressive" genre, The music here isn't at all like YES or GENESIS. Nonetheless, it still transports you to an imaginary world of fantasy, and that's the most important. The record has an overall constant quality, even if there are a few short passages I enjoy less.

With a better unity and musicianship than their self-titled debut, "Mirage" possesses its own identity and magic. Top-notch and accessible jazzy symphonic rock, and undoubtedly CAMEL's summit! A treasure in the desert...

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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